In all the spheres, all the organizations, one thing that is missing and also most required, is people with leadership skills. Be it in politics, sports, offices or the armed forces, Leaders are the most required set of people. Success of the organization is directly dependent of the leaders in that organization. There is an on-going debate on whether leaders are born or are they made? On an average, the world population is increasing by one billion in every 13 years! And yet the world faces a shortage of leaders or of people who possess leadership skills and qualities. Hence, it could be safely said that leaders are not usually born, but people can improve leadership skills and become great leaders.

The 8 Most Important Attributes Of A Leader.

1) Professional Knowledge and Professional Competence

Professional knowledge has to be learned the hard way. And it is always a continuous process. Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers all keep learning on a regular basis. They even keep publishing research papers in various journals.

  • Keep your knowledge updated. Keep thinking of new and better ways to do the same thing.
  • Improve yourself in a positive way at every opportunity. Attend seminars and workshops related to your line of work. Encourage your organization to have such events.
  • Mentor your subordinates. Encourage them to learn. Make them understand the importance of knowledge and its link with competence.
  • Where you cannot be a mentor, assign other mentors.

2) The Ability to Make-up Your Mind and to Take a Decision

Many people suffer when their leaders are not capable of taking decisions. Mistakes can be corrected and forgiven, but inaction cannot.

  • A good leader must learn to take decisions, and then take responsibility for the decisions taken.
  • Have a clear vision of things.
  • Take opinion of the stakeholders in the decision.
  • Most importantly, make sure that your professional knowledge is adequate to take important decisions.
  • Have the moral courage to distinguish between right and wrong, and to go with the right!

3) Absolute justice and impartiality

When one handles a team or large number of people under them, it is important for them to be totally impartial.

  • Nobody likes their mistakes being pointed out. But if they know that everybody is subject to the same rules, they are more likely to graciously accept their mistakes.
  • Make sure that whenever it is required to give negative feedback, it is done in a professional manner.

4) Positive Attitude

Nobody wants to take orders from someone who is always negative, criticising or grumpy.

  • Learn to have a positive attitude.
  • Surround yourself with positive people.
  • Read about positivity.

5) Communication Skills

It is undoubtedly one of the most important skills at the workplace.

  • Effectively communicating what is required of a sub-ordinate and giving a constructive feedback on the work done is very important.
  • Skills need to be developed so that communication across all levels is seamless.
  • Listening skills are also equally important. Learn to become an active listener.
  • Both verbal and non-verbal skills need to be improved.

6) Sense of Humor

A good sense of humor helps one to sustain good relationships, both in the society and also at the workplace. It serves as a remedy for worries. Work-life is complex. A good leader usually makes it fun and pleasant. Humor also releases stress and helps in keeping an optimistic attitude in life.

7) Lead by example

Always lead by example if you want your workplace to have more leaders. Show them what it means to be professional and committed. Keep all processes within the workplace transparent and boost morale. Be confident, but also respect other people’s views and opinions.

8) Feedback process

Have an efficient feedback process in place.The feedback should not just come from the higher level to the lower level but also vice versa. Only then, the process becomes transparent and impartial.

  • The feedback process should effectively measure and review performances.
  • A continuous two-way communication helps in giving good feedback and encouraging best practices.

In addition to the above, make sure to keep the motivation in your team high. A highly motivated individual is more likely to become a good leader. Improving leadership skills at the workplace not just helps the individual, but also the organization at large.

This video from Dr. Belinda Allen and Professor Peter Gahan shows the importance of leadership in the workplace: